The warning from Johanan (Jer 40:13-40:14)

“Now Johanan,

The son of Kareah,

With all the leaders

Of the forces

In the open country,

Came to Gedaliah

At Mizpah.

He said to him.

‘Are you at all aware

That King Baalis

Of the Ammonites

Has sent Ishmael,

The son of Nethaniah,

To take your life?’

But Gedaliah,

The son of Ahikam,

Would not believe them.”

Johanan, the son of Kareah, was one of the open field leaders against Babylon. He and the other rebel leaders came to Mizpah to see what was going on there. When he got there, he told Governor Gedaliah that the king of the Ammonites, King Baalis, had sent Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, also another Judean country leader, to kill Gedaliah. They have actually found a seal from this King Baalis of Ammon dated around 600 BCE. However, Gedaliah did not believe him, since Ishmael was also a member of the Judean royal household.

Carefulness (Sir 22:27-22:27)

“Who will set a guard

Over my mouth?

Who will put an effective seal

Upon my lips?

Thus I may not fall

Because of them.

Thus my tongue may not

Destroy me.”

Sirach wants a guard on his mouth and a seal on his lips. He is afraid that he might fall because of what he says. He was afraid that his tongue would destroy him. After all, he did speak and write a lot.